Should Claims Always be Made for Medical Malpractice?
Should a claim always be made when medical malpractice occurs? Malpractice happens a lot in doctor's offices and hospitals, an estimated 10% of the time in hospitals. Federal agencies estimate that thousands of people die from it every year. Yet, a serious analysis is required before anyone should make a legal claim. The first question is: can malpractice be proved? That's not always easy. A bad result might make one consider if malpractice was involved, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it was.
Doctors aren't guarantors of perfect care, just reasonable care under the circumstances. For a jury to find that a doctor was guilty of malpractice, it must decide that the doctor deviated from an acceptable level of care which is more or less a range of care within which other practitioners of the same kind would have performed under the circumstances. Assuming that malpractice did happen, the second question is: did the malpractice, like a delay in treatment, cause damage to the patient, or was the bad result bound to happen anyway, maybe because of an incurable disease?
If the malpractice was the legal cause of the damage, one still has to ask this: is the damage so bad that it economically warrants your making the legal claim? It's important for you to have that question answered, because malpractice cases are expensive to investigate, prepare, and try. Be as sure as you can that the end result in a case will be worth your time and effort after the expenses of the case are deducted from a court award.
If all 3 questions can be answered "Yes," the case should proceed, because you should be compensated, and malpractice claims serve as a deterrent to further malpractice. You might save someone else. On the other hand, if even one of the questions is answered with a "no," you would be wise to walk away and just be grateful that you are alive.